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By Alok Yadav (auth.)

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18 While the engraving depicts the English corner in the Temple of Apollo, it is clear that this is but one part of a larger structure. The Temple of Apollo, as it is pictured here, is a commodious structure. It is cosmopolitan in scope, but organized into distinct national literary traditions (much like the eighteenth-century republic of letters). ” Thus, behind the five busts, we find the following arrangement of large volumes: Gower, Hubert | Sydney, Drayton, Fairfax, Surry, Beaumont | Johnson, Bathurst, Bacon, Fletcher, Ralegh | Milton, Butler, Wycherly, Congreve | Temple, Addison, Pope, Gay,Tillotson.

The Heroe and Poet were inspired with the same Enthusiasm, acted with the same heat, and both were crown’d with the same laurel. 11 Just as Sprat and Prior envision some future moment in which the claims of English-language culture will be more widely recognized (especially by the French), while conceding that at present the culture lacks such recognition (see introduction), so, too, Rymer asserts the claims of “our Poets” against the Dutch, while conceding that “our Tongue” is not so “generally known” in fact.

In the eighteenth-century world of composite monarchies, recognition (rather than erasure) of linguistic and cultural diversity, precisely as “provincial” diversity, was central to the elevation of English as a “metropolitan” language. ” But such an outlook forgets more traditional conceptions of the British Isles as an inherently multilingual domain—generally construed as consisting of five regional languages and cultures—and the anglocentric cultural politics that makes use of such 46 BEFORE THE EMPIRE OF ENGLISH diversity as a resource.

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