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By Robert Huntington Fletcher

Jonathan speedy, one other particular determine of very combined characteristics, is like Defoe in that he connects the reign of William III with that of his successors and that, based on the spirit of his age, he wrote for the main half now not for literary yet for sensible reasons; in lots of different respects the 2 are broadly assorted. rapid is among the most sensible representatives in English literature of sheer highbrow energy, yet his personality, his goals, his surroundings, and the conditions of his existence denied to him additionally literary success of the best everlasting value.

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THE END OF THE MIDDLE AGES. ABOUT 1350 TO ABOUT 1500 34 A History of English Literature romancers, adapting it to their own age, had often more or less fully rationalized it; transforming, for instance, the black river of Death which the original heroes often had to cross on journeys to the Celtic Other World into a rude and forbidding moat about the hostile castle into which the romancers degraded the Other World itself. Countless magic details, however, still remained recalcitrant to such treatment; and they evidently troubled Malory, whose devotion to his story was earnest and sincere.

The name Interlude denotes literally 'a play between,' but the meaning intended (between whom or what) is uncertain. The plays were given sometimes in the halls of nobles and gentlemen, either when banquets were in progress or on other festival occasions; sometimes before less select audiences in the town halls or on village greens. The actors were sometimes strolling companies of players, who might be minstrels 'or rustics, and were sometimes also retainers of the great nobles, allowed to practice their dramatic ability on tours about the country when they were not needed for their masters' entertainment.

Of the Latin words of the service they understood nothing; and of the Bible story they had only a very general impression. It was necessary, therefore, that the service should be given a strongly spectacular and emotional character, and to this end no effort was spared. The great cathedrals and churches were much the finest buildings of the time, spacious with lofty pillars and shadowy recesses, rich in sculptured stone and in painted windows that cast on the walls and pavements soft and glowing patterns of many colors and shifting forms.

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