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Excerpt from Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit, And, Euphues and His England
A feature of the Notes for which I may claim some originality is the treatment of Lyly's proverb-lore, which I have made as thorough and complete as the materials allow. Mr. Clemons should be given credit for some of this work for the materials he had gathered for a treatment of Shakespeare's proverbs - a work that was nearing completion 'when he gave up his literary career - have made it possible. Both Mr. Bond and m.'feuillerat have greatly underestimated the importance of the proverb, popular and classical (but chie y the former), in Lyly's work. He not only uses almost all of Heywood's savoury gatherings of popular literature, and many of Erasmus' more sober adages; he adds to these many proverbs of his own finding, or at least not recorded in earlier collections, some of which clearly owe their currency in later literature to the popularity of his book and he also practises constantly the art of imitating their form and style in his own remarks. How large a part this process of imitation plays in the prose-style of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries will only appear when the subject has been studied more carefully.
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