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CONTAINING A SELECTION OF
APHORISTICAL AND PRECEPTIVE PASSAGES
Interesting and Important Subjects,
FROM THE WORKS OF
EMINENT ENGLISH AUTHORS,
SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES;
PREFACE AND REMARKS.
Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears
Printed by J. Barfield, Wardour-Street;
LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN,
PATERNOSTER-ROW; RODWELL, NEW BOND-
“ THERE is in the ancient language of our " country, a spirit of quaint and curious simpli..
city, which allows the finest combination of “ vigorous thought and harmonious expression.”
IT has been remarked, by several modern writers, that, at a time when our language is thought to have attained the highest pitch of refinement and perfection, it has lost, in a very material degree, that solidity and energy, which gave such force and strength of expression to the compositions of our best ancient authors. It will, perhaps, be too much, to say that the innovations and fancied improvements introduced of late years, have rendered our tongue incapable of these good requisites; it is, however, certain, that as the too free indulgence in piquant foreign sauces and liqueurs will weaken and enervate the bodily functions of Englishmen, so the incautious introduction of exotic phrases and words, is likely to render our language at once feeble, and uselessly redundant.
The writers of the present day seem to have adopted a plan altogether different from that of their ancestors : it was customary with the latter, to give as great a quantity of sense in as few words as possible, and herein they had the advantage of their neighbours; whence that fine metaphor of Lord Roscommon,
For who did ever in French authors see