Anatomizing Religio Medici's Imitations
The investigation into the use of conjunctions in Religio Medici has produced results against which the extent and nature of the imitation by its successors may now be examined. Pairings, correlative coordinators, co-ordinating conjunctions, and the nature of their connection again assume central importance. A comparative analysis of these features is particularly helpful in determining the extent of the imitation of Religio Medici in Religio Stoici, Religio Bibliopolœ, and Religio Libertini. With the exception of pairings, the nature of these features does not lend itself easily to imitation. As Louis Tonko Milic points out: 'mature writers will express a consistent preference [for particular connectives over others]' (123)1. The implication of this statement for any imitation is obvious: imitation is rendered more difficult as personal preferences need to be overcome. Furthermore, the selection of conjunctions is a constant necessity in the process of writing in contrast to, say, the choice of imagery (which at times assumes a major part whereas at others it recedes into the background). This again prevents facile imitation. The difficulties which conjunctions present to imitation, however, do not alone commend them as a means of judging imitation. Ultimately, their essential role for the structure of a sentence and, consequently, for the structure of an argument, determines their importance for the examination of the imitations of Religio Medici.
Some remarks on the scope, methodology, and structure of this investigation should precede the analysis. The complete texts of Religio Medici, Religio Stoici, Religio Bibliopolœ, and Religio Libertini, totalling more than 100,000 words, have been scrutinized in order to isolate all co-ordinating conjunctions ('and', 'or', 'but') and correlative co-ordinators ('either . . . or', 'nor, 'neither', 'neither . . . nor',____________________