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c Six Types of Tudor Prose
III, Philosophic Prose-Bacon ,' by Mr. T. S. ELIOT
THE Shakespeare-Bacon controversy apart, no one would deny the importance of the prose of Bacon's essays and philosophical works as a milestone in English literature. After the flowery meads of Sidney's. Arcadia, and other early Elizabethan romances, Bacon's exact and tersely adequate prose is like a firm highway.
Its only obvious ornaments are the many classical stories and comments brought in by way of illustration ; otherwise, its first aim is to give as exact and lucid an expression as possible to the hard thinking that underlies it; nevertheless, an innate majesty of rhythm underlies its austerity—a rhythm born of splendour of thought rather than of splendour of imagery. Bacon's importance in the development of English prose is Mr. Eliot's theme today.
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