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English School Classics

COWPER'S TASK

Edited by

FRANCIS STORR, B.A., . ASSISTANT-MASTER AT MARLBOROUGH COLLEGE, LATE SCHOLAR OF TRINITY

COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, AND BELL UNIVERSITY SCHOLAR. The object of these Volumes is to supply preparatory Schools, and the fourth or fifth forms of larger Schools, with cheap Annotated Text-books for English reading. It is intended that each Volume should contain enough for one Term's work.

Fcap. 8vo.
THOMSON'S SEASONS: Winter,

With an Introduction to the Series, by the Rev. J. FRANCK
BRIGHT, M.A., Late Master of the Modern School at

Marlborough College.
COWPER'S TASK.

By Francis STORR, B.A., Assistant-Master at Marlborough

College.
BACON'S ESSAYS.

By FRANCIS STORR, B.A., Assistant-Master at Marlborough

College.
SCOTT'S LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.

By J. SURTEES PHILLPOTTS, M.A., Assistant-Master at

Rugby School, formerly Fellow of New College, Oxford. SIMPLE POEMS.

By W. E. Mullins, M.A., Assistant-Master at Marl.

borough College. SELECTIONS FROM WORDS WORTH'S

POEMS.
By H. H. TURNER, Trinity College, Cambridge.
WORDSWORTH'S. EXCURSION.

By H. H. TURNER, Trinity College, Cambridge.
** The General Introduction to the Series will be found

in Thomson's WINTER.

Rivingtons
LONDON, OXFORD, AND CAMBRIDGE

COWPER’S TASK

WITH INTRODUCTION, LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,

AND NOTES

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RIVINGTONS

London . . . . . . . . . . 3 Waterloo Place Oxford. .......... High Street Cambridge,.,..., Trinity Street

LIFE OF COWPER.

W ILLIAM COWPER was born November 26th,

1731, and died April 25th, 1800. On both sides he was of gentle blood. His father, the Rev. John Cowper, was Rector of Great Birkhampstead; his mother was Anne Donne, of the same family as the famous Dean of St Paul's. He was a delicate, nervous child, and the death of his mother, which happened when he was only six years old, was to him an irreparable loss. His father was a good but austere man, too much engrossed with the work of his parish to bestow on him all the care and sympathy which his sensitive nature required. When only seven he was sent to a village school in the neighbourhood, where he passed two miserable years, the victim of systematic bullying. Of one bully in particular he tells us in his autobiography, “I had such a dread of him, that I did not dare lift my eyes to his face. I knew him best by his shoe-buckle.” At the age of ten he was sent to Westminster, where he seems to have been comparatively happy. Though delicate in body, he was active and vigorous, became a good cricketer and football player, and attained, besides, some reputation as a scholar. For some time the usher of his form was Vincent Bourne, one of the happiest of modern Latin versifiers, many of whose poems he afterwards translated. His chief friend was

COWP.

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