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REFERENCES TO THE GREAT ROMANCES
practice is rather unique, for he not
only refers freely to such world-famous romances as Richardson's “Sir Charles Grandison," Butler's “Hudibras,” Goldsmith's “Vicar of Wakefield,” Smollett's “Roderick Random” and “ Humphrey Clinker,” Sterne's " Tristram Shandy” and “Sentimental Journey, Fielding's “Joseph Andrews” and “Tom Jones,” Voltaire's “ Candide,” and Le Sage's “Gil Blas; he even levies toll on his contemporary, Scott, and treats Sir Walter's verse and prose tales with that full “ liberty of quotation ” which is the compliment generally paid to classics only. In his quotations again Byron exhibits most clearly his love of the stage. He cites Shakespeare in his Letters no
cases of misquotation which the Letters and Journals afford are those in which Byron unconsciously paraphrases or parodies the lines he is quoting. He commences his " Extracts from a Diary" with the sentence-placed in inverted commas “A sudden thought strikes me," quite oblivious of the fact that he is altering a famous line of “Antony and Cleopatra" :-“On the sudden a Roman thought hath struck him." And when he tells Francis Hodgson that he has been riding on “hollow, pampered jades of Asia,” he is probably unaware of the fact that he is making nonsense of a speech written by that very same Marlowe whose Faustus he so contemptuously declares he has never read. Yet the “pampered jades” are obviously Marlowe's,-witness the following lines taken from the 4th scene of the 4th act of the 2nd part of “Tamburlaine the Great,” the scene in which Tamburlaine addresses the conquered kings whom he has harnessed to his chariot :
“Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia !
What! can ye draw but twenty miles a day,