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THOMAS JOHNES, ESQ. Memoirs of the life of Sir John Froissart



Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Memoirs of the life of Sir John Froissart
page 74

Wis fyié, Ids copious than loofe, too frequentîj offers a tirefome reprtMo» of the fame phrafes and turf» «f expreffion to Introduce common thoughts r but the fimplicity -and freedom' of his verification are not always void of grace ; we meet mow and then with poetical images», and many lines of verfe of a very happy low. • Such was the ftate of poetry in that age, and painting was nearly the fame. Thefe two arts, which have almoft always been united, feem to have • made an uniform progrefs. Painters, on their* emerging from barbarifm,-feking at firft in detail alt the fnrall ohjeâs nature presented to them, painted infeéte, flowers and binds, with fuch brilliant colours* and drew them with fuch exaftnefs, that we at this day admire them among the ornaments of ancient manufcripts. When they attempted to reprefent the human figure, they ftudied more to render the outline and the detail of hair as minute as-poflible than to give expreffionto«thecountenanœ-or motion* to the body. Thefe figures, of which vulgar nature furnifhed them with the models, were thrown together, as by accident,, without feleétion, or tafte in the compofition.. Poets, as barren as painters, contented" themfelves with defcriptions fuited to their talents* and never left off until the fubjeét was worn out.. They could" fcarcely fing» any thing but the Beauty of fpringj the verdure of the country, the enamelled meads, the chaunt of the birds, the clearnefs* of a beautiful fountain, or a rivulet that murmured. Sometimes, however,, they told with fimplicity the childifh. amufements of lovers,.—their fmiles, their paftimes, their palpitations in die joy of an agitated heart: their imagination did not extend further, and they were befides incapable of. forming any link or connexion between their ideas, William de Lorris, who began the 'Romande la Rofe/ feigns, that having fallen aflèep in an orchard* he had feen in a dream, allegorical: perfonages of every virtue and every vice; that by walking through different groves he had heard their converfation, and had even converfed with them, himfelf.. It- is- not known whether he be the firft inventor of. this fiétion ; but however that may be, all the poets, for more than two centuries, •enchantai, with fo rare an invention, thought they oould.not da better.-

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