Some Old English Worthies (Classic Reprint)
Fb&c Limited, Jul 13, 2015 - 284 pages
Excerpt from Some Old English Worthies
In the main, however, the early prose romances may be attributed to the fertile imaginations of their authors, who would have been the last to admit that they were not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. On the contrary, whilst they cast reﬂec tions on the authenticity of the metrical versions, they presented their own fictions as historical facts to a public ready to swallow anything in the shape of a tall' story. Possibly these narratives were founded on fact; but the facts were so lavishly embroidered that they were lost to sight. Each fresh narrator added an individual touch. It was easier to conjure up the wildest fables to explain things which, to the ignorant mind saturated with a belief in the super natural, seemed otherwise inexplicable, than it was to accept such things as being in the ordinary course of nature. The idea of an enchanter once conceived, miraculous powers were assigned to him as a matter of course. By superstition men sought to explain the mysteries of existence, and the secret agencies by which the operations of nature are conducted (prescott).
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