Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from Romance
I bought a copy of the same story as a chap-book in Madrid, and think there must be something in it to have lasted so long. In Italy you may still find I Reali di Francia on bookstalls, alongside of the realists of France, and you may remember the Old story Of the man found weeping in an Italian market-place because he had just heard from a reciter the news of the death of Roland. It was from tastes and interests of that sort that the Orlando grew to its poetical form with Boiardo and Ariosto; and so the old Italian audiences and the story-tellers of the market-place have their share in Spenser's Faerie Queene, together with the family of Sir Thopas, as Warton has shown. In J usserand's English Novel in the Time of Shakeweare we may trace the fortunes of many of the old books of chivalry; Mr. Firth, in his introduction to the Pilgrim's Progress, has made out the debt of Bunyan to Sir Bevis of Southampton - one of the pleasantest of demonstrations, in a kind of science which is often horribly abused by dull people, but not on that account to be rejected.
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