Excerpt from The Misfortunes of Elphin and Rhododaphne
Here, after the successive progresses just referred to, his style is absolutely full-grown. As with all the best styles, it is not particularly easy to indicate with precision the exact nuances which make up its effect. It has something of Sallust, something of Tacitus, something of Lucian, and something of Voltaire, and his models and imitators. If any one puts these together he will anticipate, and if he reads Elp/zin he will find, a peculiar sort of ironic anti thesis in the clauses, and a crisp cadence in the whole sentence. That this may have been partly brought about by an attempt to render, and that it was very successful in rendering, the sententiousness of the Welsh manner is very probable but it is noticeable, though not to the same extent, in Maid Marian and even in Nzg/zz'mare Aeeey, where there could have been no such inﬂuence or object. And it continued, softened a little from the tension here shown, to mark Peacock till the last. It is not a 'snip snap style, and though it is full of epigram, the epigram is not fired off pointblank at the reader with an obvious 'there's one for you' from the writer. It slips easily off the pen, and is accompanied by the best Swiftian or Lucianic absence of insistence and waiting for applause. Further, the descriptive passages, already very good in Maid Marian, are even better here; and Peacock has nowhere excelled the departure from Seithenyn's castle and the picture of Caer Lleon. Indeed I do not think it excessive to say that Tile [wisforiuaes 0f elf/zia, taking it all round, is his best-written book.
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