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Initial “C." (From a MS. of the “Anglo-Saxon

Chronicle,” Cotton. Tib. B. 1, 11th Century)

Tailpiece-Time Jowing. (From the Title-page to an

Edition of - Donatus," 1549)

Ornament-Brought by the Graces to Wisdom.

(Designed for Elizabeth Elstob's “Anglo-Saxon

Grammar," 1715)

Old Books. (From Sir W. Gell's “ Pompeiana”)

Initial from a Cotton. MS. of Mandeville's Travels

Paston Hall and Church. (From Sir John Fenn)

A Paston Letter of the Reign of Henry VI. (From

Sir John Fenn)

A Printing Press of 1498. (From the Frontispiece to

a book of that year)

Evil Jerodach's Cruelty. (From Caxton's “Game

and Play of the Chess”

The Finder of the Play of Chess. (From Caxton's

“ Game and Play of the Chess”)

The First Chess-Players. (From " Caxton ")

Sir Thomas More. (From an Enamel after Holbein).

John Rogers. (From his Portrait in H. Holland's

* Heroologia”)

Bishop Fox. (From Queen Mary's Prayer Book)

Out of the Depths. (From Queen Mary's Psalter)

An Elizabethan Country House. (From Britton's

“ Antiquities")

Christ Covered. (From Stephen Bateman's “Doom,”


The Groundwork of Coney-catching.

(From Title-

page of Greene's Book, 1591)

The Counterfeit Crank. (From Greene's Coney-

catching," 1591).

Town and Country. (From Greene's “ Quip for an

l'pstart Courtier ")

Greene Raised from the Grave. (From J. Dickenson's

“ Greene in ('onceipt," 1598)

In Elizabethan Shilling

The Old Front of Wilton House

Initial from Hakluyt's “ Voyages,” 1589

Sir Francis Drake taking a Spanish Galleon. (From

John Pine's Plates of the Tapestry Hangings in

the House of Lords)

| Portuguese Carack. (From the Title-page to

Linschoten's “ Discours of Voyages," 1598)

Tailpiece from Hakluyt's “ Voyages," 1589

Achmat, Emperor. (From Knolles's “ Historic of the

Turkes,” 1610)

The Gotham Cuckoo. (From the “Merry Tales of

Gotham," 1630)


Abbey Church of St. Albans


Engraved Title-page of Bacon's “Sylva Sylvarum"



John Milton, aged Twenty-one


The Parliament of England. (From the Great Seal

of the Commonwealth)


John Selden. (From the Engraving in his “ Janus ") 138

Lambeth Palace. (From an Engraving by Hollar,

1647) :


Autograph of John Milton.

Jeremy Taylor. (Frontispiece to his “Holy Dying") 150

Initial from Lord Orrery's “Parthenissa ”


A Sailing Chariot. (From John Wilkins's “Mathe-

matical Magic").


A Chariot on the Windmill Principle. (From the

same) :


Robert Boyle. (From the Frontispiece to one of his

Books, 1670)

Cowley's House at Chertsey

Aphra Behn. (From the Portrait prefixed to her



Ornament from the “ Life of Clarendon," 1667 .

Sir William Temple. (From Sir Peter Lely’s

Portrait, 1679)


Daniel Defoe. (From the “ True Collection” of his

Writings, 1703)


Jonathan Swift. (From the Portrait engraved for

Lord Orrery)


Joseph Addison. (From Portrait by Kneller, 1716) · 220

Sir Richard Steele. (From a French Translation of

his Political Works, 1715).


William King. (From the Title-page of his Collected



Richard Steele, xt. 46. (From Nichols's Editions of

his Letters, &c.) .


Frontispiece to the First Volume of Steele's " Ladies'

Library,” 1714


Ornaments from the First Edition of “ The B gar's


217, 248

Olympian Walpole. (Frontispiece to Bolingbroke's

“Dissertation upon Parties '')


Lord Chesterfield




Woodcut from Fielding's “Miscellanies" .


Henry Fielding. (From the Portrait by Hogarth) 272

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378 379 379


397 397 399 402




Tobias Smollett. (From the Portrait by Sir Joshua
Reynolds )

278 Shenstone Favoured by Apollo. (From the Edition of his Works published in 1764)

283 Lady Bradshaigh. (From Mrs. Barbauld's " Correspondence of Samuel Richardson ")

289 Samuel Richardson. (From the Engraving circulated by himself among his Friends)

290 Richardson Reading the MS. of “Sir Charles

Grandison.” (From a Sketch made at the time
by one of the Party)

296 The Infant Johnson. (By Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1761) 299 Laurence Sterne. (From the Portrait before Vol. I. of his “ Sermons,” 1765)

306 Samuel Johnson. (From the Portrait before “ The Lives of the Poets," 1781) ·

323 Sir Joshua Reynolds. (From his Portrait of himself) 330 The Old Royal Academy, Pall Mall .

332 Rooms of the Royal Academy in Old Somerset House 334 Edmund Burke. (From the Portrait before his

Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful,” ed. 1798) 344 Allegorical Design from Campbell's “ Pleasures of Hope"

346 Samuel Taylor Coleridge. (From an Early Portrait, 1796, in Joseph Cottle's “Recollections'

364 Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. (From the Portrait before Godwin's Memoir of her, 1798).

367 Robert Southey (1796). (From Cottle’s “ Early Recol. lections"').


William Wordsworth (1798. (From Cottle's “ Early

Recollections ") Charles Lamb (1798). From the same) William Hazlitt. Leigh Hunt (1797). (From a Portrait by Samuel

Laurence) Entrance to Hougoumont. (From Southey's “ Poet's

Pilgrimage to Waterloo,” 1816). Ruins of Hougoumont. (From the same) : John Wilson Thomas De Quincey . Charles Lamb. (From a Portrait by William Haz.

litt). Craigenputtoch Thomas Carlyle's House at Craigenputtoch Charles Dickens William Makepeace Thackeray (1862). (From a

Drawing by Samuel Laurence) John Ruskin Thomas Carlyle (1875). (From a Medallion designed

by Boehm). Ornament from Jeremy Taylor's “Opuscula," 1078 . A Modern Printing Machine Initial “ I.” (From Bacon's "Henry the Seventh,"

1629). Ornament from Johann Friedrich Eckhard's “Xach

richten von Einigen Seltenen Büchern,'' 1775 Ornament from Jeremy Taylor's “Great Exemplar,"














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'HYTHM is associated with the middle of the fourteenth century. But when

the first utterances de- Chaucer and Gower followed the example of his signed for frequent repeti- story-telling, their English tales were still in verse, tion and continued life. except that Chaucer included two prose pieces in The praise of chiefs, the his Canterbury Tales--a moral story from the cherished memories French, and a homily for his Parson. The direct beliefs of a people, formed preaching of Wiclif, and his urging of reform

into musical sequences of upon the Church and people, are represented also words with alliteration, or other device by English prose tracts and sermons, which are to secure for each important word thoroughly simple and straightforward, as it is the both emphasis and good help to its nature of right prose to be.

The word “Prose" means recollection, make the substance of, straightforward. It is derived from the Latin that early literature which lives on prorsus, and so was the name of a Roman goddess, the lips of its authors and in the Prorsa, called also Prosa, who presided over ordinary memories of those who learn it from births with the head foremost. Prose signifies, therethem and diffuse it pleasantly in fore, the direct manner of common speech without cadenced chant among the people. twists or unusual ways of presentation. Prose was not written when few read Coleridge said that he wished our clever young and literature lay between the reciters poets would remember his “homely definition of and a world of listeners. When there prose and poetry, that is, prose is words in their best were more readers, cultivated men and order; poetry, the best words in the best order.” The women, with the written page before definition may be homely, but it is not true. No them, could recite at will for pleasure writer of prose would wish to use second-best words. of their friends. Still, they were sup- Setting aside the difference that lies deep in the

plied chiefly with verse; but the good nature of the thought, there remains only the su stories current among daily talk could mechanical distinction that verse is a contrivance for

be collected and written in the manner

of those who told them well in the calamus and an ink-stand. Behind is another kind of table hanging Initial from

direct phrase of common speech. Such from a metal pen or style, here used as a pin. To the right of that is MS. of Mande

a thick book of tables. In front are a style and a group of single tales in prose Boccaccio told again for ville's Travels.

volumes in cases or unrolled, with their titles attached, sometimes to (Cotton.) the Italians in his “Decameron,” about

the papyrus, sometimes to the wood in the centre.

2 Part of this homily-on Anger-is quoted on pages 103-106 of the 1 Next to the case containing six books rolled and labelled, are volume of this Library illustrating English Religion. In the same tables, hinged and wax-covered, for writing. Below are a reed pen or · volume, on pages 71-73, will be found specimens of Wiclif's prose.

obtaining by fixed places of frequently recurring his realm, and many great and large isles. For all the pause and elevation of the voice, by rhyme and other country of India is divided into isles, by the great floods that devices, a large number of places of fixed emphasis, come from Paradise, that separate all the land into many that cause stress to be laid on every important word, parts. And also in the sea he has full many isles. And the while they set thought to music. Whatever will

best city in the isle of Penthexoire is Nyse, a very royal city. bear this continuous enforcement is fit matter for

noble and very rich. This Prester John has under him many verse; but the customary thought of men, though

kings and many isles, and many divers people of divers conput into words that fit it perfectly, and are there

ditions. And this land is full good and rich, but not so rica

as the land of the Great Khan. For the merchants come not fore the best, is less intense, and therefore is best expressed in the straightforward method of our

thither so commonly to buy merchandise, as they do in the

land of the Great Khan, for it is too far. And on the other customary speech. Much of our early English prose is translation,

side, in the isle of Cathay, men find all things needful to

man, cloths of gold, of silk, and spicery. And therefore, cramped by some transference of foreign idiom, and with the choice of words sometimes determined rather

although men have them cheap in the isle of Prester John,

they dread the long way and the great perils in the sea. by a foreign text than by the familiar association between word and thought. But it is always un

For in many places of the sea are great rocks of stone of

adamant (loadstone), which of its nature draws iron to it; affected. Thus, Sir John Mandeville's account of

and therefore there pass no ships that have either bonds or his travels, written, as it appears from the texts, nails of iron in them; and if they do, anon the rocks of first in French, and then translated into Latin, was adamant draw them to them, that they may never go thence. translated also into English, and that version is I myself have seen afar in that sea, as thongh it had been it ascribed in the Introduction to some copies of it to great isle full of trees and bushes, full of thorns and brier. Sir John himself. As there are errors of trans- in great plenty; and the shipmen told us that all that was o. lation into which the original author of the book ships that were drawn thither by the adamants, for the iron could not have fallen, because they imply gross that was in them. And of the rottenness and other things ignorance of his meaning, the English version of the that were within the ships, grew such bushes, and thorns, Travels must have been from another hand; but it and briers, and green grass, and such kinds of things; and of represents prose of the fourteenth century.

the masts and of the sail-yards, it seemed a great wood or u Sir John Mandeville was born at St. Albans, and grove. And such rocks are in many places there about. And was old enough in 1322 to set out upon his travels. therefore merchants dare not pass there, except they know He was absent thirty years, and when he came back, well the passages, or unless they have good pilots. And als) troubled with rheumatic gout, he busied himself

they dread the long way, and, therefore, they go to Cathar, with his pen. The English version of his Travels is

because it is nearer; and yet it is not so nigh but men mu:: said to have been made in 1356. The chief aim of

travel by sea and land eleven or twelve months, from Genoa Mandeville's Travels was to describe routes to

or from Venice, to Cathay. And yet is the land of Prester Jerusalem ; he adapted his record of travel to this

John more far, by many dreadful days' journey. And the view of the chief object of travel. He that he

merchants pass by the kingdom of Persia, and go to a city

says and his men served in a war the Sultan of Babylon,

called Hermes, because Hermes the philosopher founded it. and were for fifteen months with the Great Khan

And after that they pass an arm of the sea, and then they go of the Tartars of Cathay.

to another city called Golbache ; and there they find mer

Although Mandeville travelled far and saw much, there can be little doubt

chandise, and as great abundance of parrots as men find here

In that country is but little wheat or barley, and that in his desire to gain a lively and full view of the

therefore they eat rice and honey, milk, cheese, and fruit. travellers' world he worked into his narrative some records of other men's adventures.

This emperor, Prester John, takes always to wife the In other respects he tells honestly what he has

daughter of the Great Khan;3 and the Great Khan also in the

same wise the daughter of Prester John. For they two are seen, and shows only the good appetite of his time

the greatest lords under the firmament. for marvels that he heard. The fabulous Prester

In the Land of Prester John are many divers things and John, whose country is described in the section here

many precious stones, so great and so large, that men make given from Mandeville's Travels, was first heard of at

of them plates, dishes, cups, &c. And many other marvels Rome in 1145 as a Nestorian priest who claimed to

are there, that it were too long to put in a book. But I will be descended from the Magi. He had taken Ecbatana, tell you of his principal isles, and of his estate, and of his and was going to Jerusalem, after the example of his law. This emperor Prester John is a Christian, and a great ancestors the Magi, but taking with him all his part of his country also ; but they have not all the articles force, when he was stopped by the Tigris, went north, of our faith. They believe in the Father, Son, and Holy where he hoped to cross at the winter freezing of the Ghost, and they are very devout and true to one another. river, waited some years, found no ice, and went back. And he has under him seventy-two provinces, and in every Fables thenceforth spread rapidly concerning Prester province is a king, all which kings are tributary to Prester John as a great Christian emperor of the East. John. And in his lordships are many great marvels, for in Travellers to the far East were inquisitive upon this his country is the sea called the Gravelly Sea, which is all subject, and this is the account given by Sir John Mandeville of

i Great and larje isles. Colonel Yule observes that Mandeville makes islands of nearly all the Eastern regions. He ascribes this old

practice partly to the loose use by the Arabs of the word Jazireh, but THE LAND OF PRESTER JOHN.

asks also, Was the word used for a place reached by sea ?

2 Cathay was the medieval name of China. This emperor, Prester John, possesses very extensive

3 The Great Khan was the Emperor of China in Cambalu or Pekin territory, and has many very noble cities and good towns in

(Khan-bálig, the Khan's City).

of geese.

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