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CLASS-BOOK

ENGLISH PROSE

COMPREHENDING

SPECIMENS OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED PROSE WRITERS

FROM CHAUCER TO THE PRESENT TIME,

WITH

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES, EXPLANATORY NOTES, AND INTRODUCTORY

SKETCHES OF THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE.

BY ROBERT DEM AUS, M. A.,
FELLOW OF THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SCOTLAND,

WEST END ACADEMY, ABERDEEN.

EDINBURGH:
ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK, NORTH BRIDGE,
BOOKSELLERS AND PUBLISHERS TO HER MAJESTY.

MDCCCLIX.

270. C, 83.

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PREFACE.

THE “Class-Book of English Prose” is intended as a companion volume to Scrymgeour’s “ Class-Book of English Poetry,” and has been compiled upon similar principles.

Our prose literature, it will be seen, has been divided in the present work into four periods, for reasons which will be found explained in the Introductory Note. In accordance with this division the extracts are arranged in periods, broadly distinguished by obvious diversities of style, and not simply separated by some arbitrarily assumed chronological epoch. In the respective periods, the authors have been classed according to priority of date; in the case, however, of writers who were contemporary or nearly so, this principle has been somewhat relaxed, so as to allow of the extracts being varied in their character. It has also been the Editor's aim to give as general a representation as possible of the literature of each period: he has therefore introduced writers of all classes except those on strictly scientific subjects : divines, historians, critics, moralists, travellers, novelists, politicians, and philosophers,—writers who prepared carefully for the press, and writers whose manuscripts were not designed for the public eye. In selecting these extracts, care has been taken to choose such as may give

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