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THE

HISTORY OF LITERATURE ;

OR,

THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF LANGUAGE, WRITING,
AND LETTERS, FROM THE EARLIEST AGES OF

ANTIQUITY TO THE PRESENT TIME.

Μωμήσεται τις μαλλον η μιμήσεται.

IN FOUR VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

BY SIR WILLIAM BOYD, A.M.-M.D.

AUTHOR OF THE EPITOME OF THE HISTORY OF LITERATURE,

THB GUIDE TO ITALY, &c.

LONDON:

LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMAN,

PATERNOSTER ROW.

MDCCCXLIII.

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LONDON :

'RINTED BY E. JUSTINS AND SON,

MARK LANE.

PREFACE.

In presenting to the public the first volume of “THE HISTORY OF LITERATURE,” the Author rejoices that there is now a prospect of an important chasm in history being filled up,

and that all will have it in their power to trace the rise and progress of learning, from the ages of antiquity to the present day.

A passionate love of literature, has long been considered by the Author as the bright star of his life; placed in society, in a position not the most happy, that of being descended from a family of the highest rank, with very limited means at his command—he has found the study of literature a source of great happiness and consolation, under the pressure of every anxiety.

The Author cheerfully submits his work to the intelligence and taste of the public, and hopes that he may meet with such patronage as will enable him to bring it to a conclusion; he does so, fearless of fair and free opinion ; unfortunately, however, in modern days, abuse is often mistaken for criticism ; or, as it is expressed in the translation of the Greek motto in the title page, “ It is more easy

to criticise than to imitate."

There are two principles adopted by the Author in “The History of Literature.”—In the first place, never to admit for authentic history, that which is antecedent to letters; and in the second, rather to confess our want of correct information, than to grant to mere opinions the authority of facts. At the conclusion of the work, references will be given to the best translations of the ancient authors; with directions for the most advantageous method of studying history; a chronological table will also be added.

In short, every exertion will be used to render it complete.

The Names of the Subscribers will be inserted in the last

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