The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams

The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and His Friend Mr. Abraham Adams

Excerpt

As it is possible the mere English reader may have a different idea of romance with the author of these little volumes, and may consequently expect a kind of entertainment not to be found, nor which was even intended, in the following pages; it may not be improper to premise a few words concerning this kind of writing, which I do not remember to have seen hitherto attempted in out language.

The Epic, as well as the Drama, is divided into tragedy and comedy. Homer, who was the father of this species of poetry, gave us a pattern of both these, though that of the latter kind is entirely lost; which Aristotle tells us, bore the same relation to comedy which his Iliad bears to tragedy. And perhaps, that we have no more instances of it among the writers of antiquity, is owing to the loss of this great pattern, which, had it survived, would have found its imitators equally with the other poems of this great original.

And farther, as this poetry may be tragic or comic, I will not scruple to say it may be likewise either in verse or prose: for though it wants one particular, which the critic enumerates in the constituent parts of an epic poem, namely metre . . .

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