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LONDON:
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,

CROWN BUILDINGS, 188 FLEET STREET.

1882.

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IR THOMAS BROWNE (whose works occupy

so prominent a position in the literary his

tory of the seventeenth century) is an author who is now little known and less read. This comparative oblivion to which he has been consigned is the more remarkable, as, if for nothing else, his writings deserve to be studied as an example of the English language in what may be termed a transition state. The prose of the Elizabethan age was beginning to pass away and give place to a more inflated style of writing,—a style which, after passing through various stages of development, culminated in that of Johnson.

Browne is one of the best early examples of this school ; his style, to quote Johnson himself, “is vigorous but rugged, it is learned but pedantick, it is deep but obscure, it strikes but does not please, it commands but does not allure.

It is a tissue

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