By Edward Albert
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Extra info for A History of English Literature
Scottish poetry comes late into notice, but it comes with a bound. The poverty and disunion of Scotland, its severance from the intellectual stimulus of English thought, and the dearth of educational facilities all combine to retard its literary development. But these disadvantages are rapidly passing away, with the beneficial results apparent in this chapter. The Development of the Drama. The popularity of the romance is almost gone; the drama, more suited to the growing intelligence of the time, is rapidly taking on a new importance.
And on the morn the damsel and he took their leave and thanked the knight, and so departed, and rode on their way until they came to a great forest. And there was a great river and but one passage, and there were ready two knights on the further side to let them the passage. " And therewithal he rushed into the water, and in the midst of the water, either brake their spears upon other to their hands, and then they drew their swords and smote eagerly at other. And at the last Sir Beaumains smote the other upon the helm that his head stonied, and therewithal he fell down in the water, and there was he drowned.
A) The first thing that strikes the eye is the unique position that Chaucer's work occupies in the literature of the age. He is first, with no competitor for hundreds of years to challenge his position. He is, moreover, the forerunner in the race of great literary figures that henceforth, in fairly regular succession, dominate the ages they live in. (b) His Observation. Among Chaucer's literary virtues his acute faculty of observation is very prominent. He was a man of the world, mixing freely with all types of mankind; and he used his opportunities to observe the little peculiarities of human nature.
A History of English Literature by Edward Albert