Reference > Cambridge History > The Age of Dryden > The Essay and the Beginning of Modern English Prose > Influence of Montaigne
  His Miscellaneous Works: Essays Halifax’s Miscellanies: The Character of a Trimmer; A Letter to a Dissenter  

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

XVI. The Essay and the Beginning of Modern English Prose.

§ 17. Influence of Montaigne.


Like Cowley, Temple came under the spell of Montaigne. In the essay Of Gardening, he borrows from him the story of Heraclitus playing with the boys in the porch of the Temple, and he refers to him in two later essays, Upon Popular Discontents and Upon Health and Long Life. Moreover, two essays, heads for which were found among his papers, Upon the different conditions of life and fortune and Upon Conversation, suggest, not only in the titles, but in the subjects themselves, frequent intercourse with the father of the essay. There were other Englishmen of letters, too, who kept the same excellent company. Dryden quotes from “Honest Montaigne” in the preface to All for Love, 29  while, according to Pope, Montaigne and La Rochefoucauld were among the livres de chevet with which Wycherley was wont to “read himself to sleep.” In 1685, Montaigne was popular enough in England to warrant the publication of a new translation of his essays from the pen of Charles Cotton. Cotton sometimes misses his author’s meaning, but he does not write sheer nonsense, as Florio sometimes does. On the other hand, his style lacks the glamour and quaint individuality of the Elizabethan translation, and, though sound on the whole, is somewhat unequal. His work is dedicated to George Savile, marquis of Halifax, who, in acknowledging the dedication, says that “it is the book in the world I am best entertained with.”   27

Note 29. Cf. ante, Chap. 1, pp. 31–32. [ back ]

CONTENTS · VOLUME CONTENTS · INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  His Miscellaneous Works: Essays Halifax’s Miscellanies: The Character of a Trimmer; A Letter to a Dissenter  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors