Elizabethan Critical Essays

By G. Gregory Smith | Go to book overview
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pergendum est. Non, quomodo Riccius ostendit Longolium fecisse (hoc est ut ipse putat, excellenti ralione; ut ego existmo, valde laudabiliter; ul multi sentiunt, mediocriter et tolerabiliter; et Erasmus et Paulus Manutius iudicant, inepte, frigide, et pueriliter), sed qua ratione Sturmius Ciceronem imitandum esse, et praeceptis in Literata Nobilitate perfecte docet, et exemplis in Quinctiana Explicatione insignifer ostendit. . . .

'Sed quorsum tantopere, mi Sturmi, laboramus de imitatione? quum non desunt, qui docti et prudentes videri volunt, qui imitationem vel nullam esse pulant, vel nihili prorsus aestimant, vel omnem temere permiscent, vel eam totam, quaecunque sit, cuiuscunque sit, ut servilem et puerilem repudiant. Sed hi sunt el inertes et imperiti; laborem fugiunt, artem nesciunt. . . . Artis enim et naturae dissidium faciunt, quicunque casu non delectu, fortuito non observatione, in literarum studiis versantur. Isti idem sentiunt de eleganti illa eloquentiae parte, quae in numerorum ratione collocata est; illam enim aut nullam esse volunt, aut inanem omnem iudicant. Et aurium sensum cum artificioso et inlelligenti animi iudicio nihil commereii habere existimant.'

He proceeds to lament the loss of the books of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, De imitatione et oratoria et historica, and to pass in review Christophorus Longolius, Budaeus, Erasmus, Paulus Manutius, Petrus Victorius, Jovita Rapicius, author of the De Numero Oratorio, Carolus Sigonius, Giambattista Pigna, and Angelio Pietro da Barga ( Bargaeus). All, except Manutius, Pigna, and Bargaeus, appear in the English text (see notes); but of Manutius he says: Gaudeo Praeceptorem meum loqui Anglice : ne, quum tam libere dissentit hac in re a Manutio, tantum hominem offenderet: tamen Manutium non nominat. The references to Pigna are concerned only with his views on Horace Ars Poetica (aureolum Horatii librum), Aristotle Rhetoric, and Quaestiones Sophocleae. Ascham appears to be unaware of Pigna's more important apology for the methods of Ariosto in I Romanzi ( 1554), or is perhaps unwilling to dispute with him on these matters of 'bold bawdrye' (see p. 4). He names Bargaeus for his doctissimos commentarios in eruditum illum Demetrii libellum de Elocutione.
1. Εv + ̓øνής. Lyly is indebted to this passage for his Euphues. Ascham's definition is built up from classical usage, e.g. Plato, Aristotle, and especially Plutarch ( Moralia, ed. Xylander, p. 81 D), but in its completeness of application has some claim to originality. Cf. the companion definition in Estienne Thesaurus, which appeared in 1572.
2. 20-9. Cf. Toxophilus, ed. Giles, ii. p. 150.
3. 36. 'In our forefathers tyme,' &c. Cf. the similar passage

-349-

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