Dimovit obstantes propinquos,
Et populum reditus morantem,
Quam si clientum longa negotia
Dijudicata lite relinqueret,
Tendens Venafranos in agros
Aut Lacedaemonium Tarentum.1
Reviewing Edward Dowden’s volume Puritan and Anglican (1900) and Sir Henry Craik’s edition of English Prose Selections (see No. 15), the anonymous commentator compares Milton’s and Marvell’s prose styles.
Extract from the Quarterly Review, 196 (July 1902), pp. 91, 99.
If we wish to sustain the comparison [between French and English prose writers], we must have recourse to those of our authors who flourished before the Restoration, when England, instead of being, from a literary point of view, almost a province of France, was a powerful and independent nation with a literature almost equal to that of Greece in the age of Pericles. This brings us to the main purpose of our essay. That England held a supreme position in dramatic and lyrical poetry for fifty years in the reigns
Yet when the barb’rous hangman did devise
For him, he knew: yet he no otherwise
His remorating kindred did adjourne,
And all the people stopping his returne,
Then if, the terme being done, he did withdraw
From all his clients tedious suits of Law,
To the Venafran fields taking his way,
Or to Tarentum of Laconia.
(Trans. Henry Rider, 1638)