Page:Father's memoirs of his child.djvu/61

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xlvii

At all events, this work, though it should escape censure, can rank no higher than a trifle. What apology must I make for addressing it to a fellow-labourer, who has accomplished the serious and difficult task of giving an English dress to Froissart? I think it was Gray, who denominated your venerable original the Herodotus of a barbarous age. But surely that age is entitled to a more respectful epithet, when France could boast its Froissart, Italy its Petrarch, England its Wickliffe, the father of our reformation, and Chaucer, the father of our poetry. If I might slightly alter the designation of so complete a critic, I would prefer calling this simple and genuine historian, the Herodotus of chivalry. But by whatever title we are to greet him, the interesting minuteness of his recital, affording a strong pledge of its fidelity, the lively delineation of manners, and the charm of unadulterated language, all conspire to place him in the first rank of early writers. The public begin to revolt from that spirit of philoso-