Sunday, May 26, 2019


Beautiful and Romantic

G.G. Coulton (1858-1947), Chaucer and His England (1908; rpt. London: Methuen, 1963), pp. 105-106:
That which seems most beautiful and romantic to us was not necessarily so five hundred years ago. The literature of Chivalry, for instance, seems to have touched Chaucer comparatively little: he scarcely mentions it but in more or less open derision. Again, while Ruskin and William Morris seem at times almost tempted to wish themselves back to the 14th century for the sake of its Gothic architecture, Chaucer in his retrospective mood is not ashamed to yearn for a Golden Age as yet uncorrupted by architects of any description whatever—
No trumpes for the warrës folk ne knew,
Nor towers high and wallës round or square . . .
Yet were no palace chambers, nor no halls;
In cavës and in woodës soft and sweet
Slepten this blessed folk withouten walls.*
* Aetas Prima, l. 23 ff.

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