J.S. Phillimore (1873-1926), Some Remarks on Translations and Translators
= The English Association, Pamphlet No. 42 (January, 1919), p. 5:
Probably as a rule maturity lasts longer in prose
than in poetry. For prose is an institution. Latin poetry, for instance,
is at full power from Virgil to Lucan; Lucan is an inventor, enriching
his verse out of the losses of prose oratory. But after Lucan nothing
of prime greatness is produced in poetry until Prudentius—whose
case would take us altogether too long to analyse; but, at any rate,
he represents not continuity but a violent adaptation of literary forces
into a new form. In Latin prose, on the other hand, it is simply true
to say that Jerome and Augustine could drive their ship under all the
sail that ever Cicero carried. To call them a decadence is a foolish prejudice
only possible to those who never read them. The inspiration
is new, but no new expressive power is needed. They inherited that.
Expressiveness in prose was maintained for nearly five centuries by
the Latins: from Cicero to Augustine is a table-land on the high level.