ough this, with curious inconsistency, is flatly contradicted, probably for prudential reasons, in the Discourse itself--
'As the Greeke and Latin Poets have wonne immortal credit to their native speech, being encouraged and graced by liberal patrones and bountiful benefactors; so our famous and learned Lawreate masters of England would entitle our English to far greater admired excellency, if either the Emperor Augustus or Octavia his sister or noble Maecenas were alive to reward and countenance them; or if witty Comedians and stately Tragedians (the glorious and goodlie representers of all fine witte, glorified phrase and great action) bee still supported and uphelde, by which meanes (O ingrateful and damned age) our Poets are soly or chiefly maintained, countenanced and patronized.'
Of the author of this work, Francis Meres or Meers, comparatively little is known. He sprang from an old and highly respectable family in Lincolnshire, and was born in 1565, the son of T
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