Early modern prose fiction in England can dazzle us with its boldness, its inventiveness, its sheer virtuosity. Robert Greene makes this clear in the preface to Menaphon in 1589:

if Gentlemen you find my style either magis humile in some place, or more sublime in another, if you find dark Aenigmas or strange conceipts as if Sphinx on the one side, and Roscius on the other were playing the wagges; thinke the metaphors are well ment, and that I did it for your pleasures, whereunto I ever aymed my thoughts: and desire you to take a little paines to prie into my imagination.