Commentary by Sir Walter Scott, (1771-1832).
of that gay and licentious court poring over a work of five or six folio volumes by way of amusement; but such was the taste of the age, that Fynes Morison, in his precepts to travellers, can "think no book better for his pupils' discourse than Amadis of Gaule; for the knights errant and the ladies of court do therein exchange courtly speeches."
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS
Heroic poesy has always been sacred to princes, and to heroes. Thus Virgil inscribed his Æneids to Augustus Cæsar; and of latter ages, Tasso and Ariosto dedicated their poems to the house of Este. It is indeed but justice, that the most excellent and most profitable kind of writing should be addressed by poets to such persons, whose characters have, for the most part, been the guides and patterns of their imitation; and poets, while they imitate, instruct. The feigned
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