By George Saintsbury
This Elibron Classics publication is a facsimile reprint of a 1910 variation through Macmillan and Co., restricted, London.
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We have also Epistles from him, and his works, both English and Latin, have been in whole or part frequentlyedited. The great interest of Ascham is expressed as happily as possible by his own words in the dedication of Toxophilus to Henry VIII. "Although," he says, "to have written this book either in Latin or Greek . . had been more easierand fit for my trade in study, yet ... 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.
Indeed Lyly's vocabulary, except occasionally in his similes, is decidedly vernacular, and he very commonly mingles extremely homely words with his highest flights. No better specimen of him can be given than from the aforesaid letter commendatory to the Hecatotnpathia. '' My good friend, I have read your new passions,and they have renewed mine old pleasures,the which brought to me no less delight than they have done to your self-commendations. And certeshad not one of mine eyesabout seriousaffairsbeen watchful,both by being too too busy,had beenwanton: such is the natureof persuadingpleasure,that it melteth the marrow before it scorch the skin and burneth before it warmeth.
Than] judgment. But in that so aptly you have varied upon women I will not vary from you, so confessI must, and if I should not, yet mought I be compelled, that to love would be the sweetestthing in the earth if women were the faithfulest, and that women would be more constant if men were more wise. " Many efforts have been made to discover some model for Lyly's oddities. Spanishand Italian influenceshave beenalleged, and there is a special theory that Lord Berners's translations have the credit or discredit of the paternity.