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IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL. I.
59 WASHINGTON STREET.
Tog work originated in a desire, on the part of the Publishers, to supply what they considered a deficiency in the Literature addressed at the present time to the great body of the People. In the late efforts for the improvement of the popular mind, the removal of mere ignorance has been the chief object held in view : attention has been mainly given to what might be expected to impart technical knowledge; and in the cultivation of what is certainly but a branch of the intellectual powers, it has been thought that the great end was gained. It is not necessary here to present arguments establishing that there are faculties for cognising the beautiful in art, thought, and feeling, as well as for perceiving and enjoying the truths of physical science and of fact. Nor is it needful to show how elegant and reflective literature, especially, tends to moralise, to soften, and to adorn the soul and life of man. Assuming this as granted, we were anxious to take the aid of the press-or rather of the Printing Machine, for by it alone could the object be accomplished-to bring the belles lettres into the list of those agencies which are now operating for the mental advancement of the middle and humbler portions of society.
It appeared that, for a first effort, nothing could be more suitable than a systematised series of extracts from our national authors; "a concentration"—to quote the language of the prospectus" of the best productions of English intellect, from Anglo-Saxon to the present times, in the various departments headed by Chaucer, Shakspeare, Milton-by More, Bacon, Locke-by Hooker, Taylor, Barrowby Addison, Johnson, Goldsmith-by Hume, Robertson, Gibbon-set in a biographical and critical history of the literature itself.” By this a double end might, it seemed, be served; as the idea of the work in. cluded the embodiment of a distinct and valuable portion of knowledge, as well as that mass of polite literature which was looked to for the effect above described. In the knowledge of what has been done by English literary genius in all ages, it cannot be doubted that we have a branch of the national history, not only in itself important, as well as interesting, but which reflects a light upon other departments of history-for is not the Elizabethan Drama, for example, an exponent, to some extent, of the state of the national mind at the time, and is it not equally one of the influences which may be presumed to have modified that mind in the age which followed ? Nor is it to be overlooked, how important an end is to be attained by training the entire people to venerate the thoughtful and eloquent of past and present times. These gifted beings may be said to have endeared our language and institutions our national character, and the very scenery and artificial objects which mark our soil—to all who are acquainted with, and can appreciate their writings. A regard for our national authors enters into and forms part of the most sacred feelings of every educated man, and it would not be easy to estimate in what degree it is to this sentiment that we are indebted for all of good and great that centres in the name of England. Assuredly, in our common reverence for a Shakspeare, a Milton, a Scott, we have a social and uniting sentiment, which not only contains in itself part of our happiness as a people, but much that counteracts influences that tend to set us in division.
A more special utility is contemplated for this work, in its serving to introduce the young to the Pantheon of English authors. The “ Elegant Extracts” of Dr Knox, after long enjoying popularity as a selection of polite literature for youths between school and college, has of late years sunk out of notice, in consequence of a change in public taste. It was almost exclusively devoted to the rhetorical literature, elegant but artificial, which flourished during the earlier half of the eighteenth century, overlooking even the great names of Chaucer and Spenser, as well as nearly the whole range of rich, though not faultless productions extending between the times of Shakspeare and Dryden. The time seemed to have come for a substitute work, in which at once the revived taste for our early literature should be gratified, and due attention be given to the authors who have lived since the time of Knox. Such a work it has been the humble aim of the editor to produce in that which is now laid before the public.
He takes this opportunity of acknowledging that very important assistance has been rendered throughout the Cyclopædia of English Literature, and particularly in the poetical department, by Mr Robert Carruthers of Inverness.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Page Ilumination-Monk writing, 1 Autograph of Sir Philip Sidney, . 232 View of St Lawrence Church,
434 Chair of Bede, .
Portrait of Richard Ilooker,
235 Portrait of Dr Robert South, . Nlumination-a Minstrel,
Portrait of Lord Bacon,
239 View of Islip Church, . Portrait of Chaucer, .
Autograph of Bacon, .
239 | Portrait of Richard Baxter, Chaucer's Tonıb, •
Monument of Bacon,
241 View of Ury House, Tabard Inn, Southwark, . | Portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh,
Portrait of John Bunyan, Portrait of Gower,
Autograph of Raleigh,
244 View of the Birthplace of Bunyan, 467 Cathedral of Aberdeen,
View of Ilayes Farm, the Birthplace Portrait of Lord Clarendon, View of Lochleven,
of Raleigh, . . - 2 | View of Dunkirk House, the London Portrait of Wickliffe, • Stow's Monument in the church of
residence of Lord Clarendon, Chair of Wickliffe,
St Andrew under Shaft, London, 249 Portrait of Gilbert Burnet, Illumination-Early Printing-Office, 36 Portrait of James Ilowell,
255 Portrait of Sir William Temple, Portrait of James I. of Scotland, .
Autograph of Ilowell,
256 Portrait of John Locke, View of Dunkeld Cathedral, .
Portrait of William Camden,
262 Autograph of Locke, Portrait of Iloward, Earl of Surrey, Autograph of Camden,
202 View of the Birthplace of Locke, Portrait of Sir David Lyndsay,
Portrait of Thomas May,
264 Seal of Locke, . Portrait of William Caxton, .
Portrait of Thomas Ilobbes,
206 | Portrait of the Ilonourable Robert Portrait of Sir Thomas More,
Portrait of Robert Burton,
1 Boyle, Autograph of Sir Thomas More,
Tomb of Burton, .
274 | Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton, . Bust of John Leland, •
Portrait of John Selden,
282 | View of the Birthplace of Newton, Portrait of William Tyndale, Autograph of Selden,
Portrait of Thomas Rymer, . Portrait of Sir John Cheke, .
View of the Ilouse of Selden, . 283 | Portrait of Sir George Mackenzie, Autograph of Roger Ascham,
Portrait of Archbishop Usher, . 285 Monument of Sir George Mackenzie, Illumination Spenser introduced
Portrait of William Chillingworth, 285 Greyfriars Church yard, Edinburgh, 530 by Sydney to Elizabeth, .
Portrait of Jeremy Taylor,
290 Mumination-Rape of the Lock, • 534 Portrait of Thomas Sackville, Portrait of Sir Thomas Browne, 208 | Portrait of Matthew Prior,
535 Portrait of Edmund Spenser,
Portrait of John Knox,
· 535 View of Kilcolman Castle, View of the Birthplace of Knox, 303 Portrait of Joseph Addison,
540 Portrait of Michael Drayton, . Portrait of Archbishop Spottiswood, 306 | Autograph of Addison, .
540 Portrait of Sir Henry Wotton, . 104 Illumination-Milton Dictating to
View of Addison's Walk, Magdalen
542 View of Norwich Cathedral, 116 | Autograph of Cowley, 312 Portrait of Jonathan Swift,
545 Portrait of Francis Beaumont, 119 View of the Ilouse of Cowley, · 313 Autograph of Swift, .
345 Portrait of George Ilerbert, View of the Poets' Corner, West
View of the Tomb of Swift in DubBust of Robert llerrick, - . 139 minster Abbey, · · ·
lin Cathedral, Autograph of Robert Ilerrick, Portrait of Edmund Waller, .
Portrait of Alexander Pope, View of the Birthplace of Randolph, 145 View of Waller's Tomb, - - 326 | Autograph of Pope, . . 554 Portrait of Sir William Davenant, 146 Portrait of John Milton,
328 View of Pope's Villa, Twi
v of Pope's Villa, Twickenham, 555 View of Lethington Castle, . 155 View of Ludlow Castle, • . 329 Portrait of John Gay, . . 570 View of Logie Kirk, - . 156 View of Milton's Cottage at Chal Autograph of Gay, . View of Falkland Palace, - 157 font, • .
Portrait of Thomas Parnell,
576 View of the House of the Earl of Fac-simile of Milton's Second Re Autograph of Somerville,
580 Stirling. . . . . 158 ceipt to Simmons, .
330 | Urn erected by Shenstone to SomerPortrait of Drummond of Ilaw. View of the Remains of Milton's
581 thornden, . . .
Ilouse at Forest Ilini, . - 335 Portrait of Allan Ramsay, . 582 View of Hawthornden, the seat of Portrait of Andrew Marvell,
43 Autograph of Ramsay, Drummond, • 159 Portrait of Samuel Butler,
15 View of Ramsay Lodge,
583 Portrait of Buchanan, · ·
View of Rose Street, London, in Portrait of Nicholas Rowe, Autograph of Buchanan, .
which Butler died, . . Autograph and Seal of Vanbrugh, View of Gray's Inn Llall, Portrait of John Dryden, .
Mumination-Steele Writing the View of Cilobe Theatre, • • 165 Autograph of John Dryden,
Tatler in a Coffee-Room,
602 Bust of Shakspeare, .
View of Burleigh Ilouse,
361 Portrait of Sir Richard Steele, 602 Autograph of Shakspeare, • 176 Portrait of Thomas Otway,
86 View of Steelo's Ilouse at LlanView of the Birthplace of ShakIllumination-Preacher of the Se
605 speare, .
venteenth Century, • . 306 Portrait of Daniel Defoe, · · 617 View of Charlecote House,
Portrait of Algernon Sidney, . 405 | View of Stanton Harcourt, Oxford. Goblet from the Boar's - Head Portrait of Lady Rachel Russell, 407 shire,
Portrait of Thomas Fuller, . 431 | Autograph of Lord Bolingbroke, . Portrait of Ben Jonson,
191 | View of Old St Bride's Church, 412 Bolingbruke's Monument in BatterAutograph of Ben Jonson, 191 | Portrait of Izaak Walton,
sea Church, . . View of Falcon Tavern,
View of Walton's Iloise, • . 415 Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Portrait of Fletcher, . . 203 Portrait of John Evelyn,
419 Montagu, Portrait of Philip Massinger,
View of the House of Evelyn, - 420 Portrait of the Earl of Shaftesbury, Ilumination-Raleigh writing in | Portrait of Sir Roger L'Estrange,
| View of Bentley's Seat, in Trinity Prison,
College Chapel, -
| Portrait of Archbishop Tillotson, · 434 Portrait of Charles Leslie,
CONTENTS OF FIRST VOLUME.
CONMENCEMENT OF THE PRESENT FORM OF ENGLISH, 1 James I., a Prisoner in Windsor, first sees Lady Jane
Beaufort, who afterwards was his Queen,
St Sert's Ram,
A Carman's Account of a Law-suit, ,
Supplication in Contemption of Sirle Tails,
The Building of the Tower of Babel, and Confusion of
The Devil's Ilead in the Valley Perilous,