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Page xvii - THREE Poets, in three distant ages born, Greece, Italy, and England did adorn. The first in loftiness of thought surpassed; The next in majesty •, In both the last. The force of Nature could no further go ; To make a third, she joined the former two.
Page 106 - With Ovid ended the golden age of the Roman tongue: from Chaucer the purity of the English tongue began. The manners of the poets were not unlike: both of them were well-bred, well-natured, amorous, and libertine, at least in their writings, it may be also in their lives.
Page 107 - Their studies were the same, philosophy and philology. Both of them were knowing in astronomy, of which Ovid's books of the Roman feasts, and Chaucer's treatise of the Astrolabe, are sufficient witnesses. But Chaucer was likewise an astrologer, as were Virgil, Horace, Perseus, and Manilius.
Page 111 - QUSB nunc sunt in honore vocabula, si volet usus, Quem penes arbitrium est et jus et norma loquendi.
Page 110 - Even the ribaldry of the low characters is different: the Reeve, the Miller, and the Cook are several men, and distinguished from each other as much as the mincing Lady Prioress and the broad-speaking gaptoothed Wife of Bath. 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 106 - But to return : having done with Ovid for this time, it came into my mind, that our old English poet Chaucer in many "things resembled him...
Page 109 - ... he has taken into the compass of his Canterbury Tales the various manners and humors (as we now call them) of the whole English nation in his age. Not a single character has escaped him.
Page 9 - At every turn she made a little stand, And thrust among the thorns her lily hand To draw the rose, and every rose she drew, She shook the stalk, and brushed away the dew ; Then party-coloured flowers of white and red She wove, to make a garland for her head.
Page 98 - Take what he gives, since to rebel is vain : The bad grows better, which we well sustain ; And could we choose the time, and choose aright, 'Tis best to die, our honour at the height, When we have done our ancestors no shame, But served our friends, and well secured our fame.